No one has ever accused the Nets front office of being basketball blabbermouths and Thursday’s announcement of Steve Nash’s hiring is the truest evidence of their ability to keep a secret ... in this case for weeks, if not months.
League sources tell NetsDaily that in fact, Nash’s name came up early in the coaching search, perhaps as early as March, not long after the Nets and Kenny Atkinson came to what was portrayed as a “mutual decision” to part ways.
Adrian Wojnarowski later confirmed NetsDaily’s account...
Back in March, the sources tell ND, the Nets had two candidates in mind: Nash and Gregg Popovich. By May, Nash had become increasingly the front office’s choice, with Kevin Durant, described by Marks around then as a “very loud voice,” pushing for the Hall of Famer.
KD and Nash knew each other from the Warriors where Nash was a player development consultant during the Warriors three trips to the NBA Finals. Kyrie Irving also signed on early, said the sources. A number of other Nets have connections to Nash. Caris LeVert, for example, worked out with KD and Nash in California back in 2016.
And while stars played a role, the sources said Marks was ready to embrace “full change” at the head coaching position, meaning going with Nash despite his lack of coaching experience. Marks knew Nash well from his two seasons with the Suns between 2006 and 2008.
There were meetings in May and June that finalized the team’s thinking on Nash. Jacque Vaughn was always seen as someone the organization wanted to keep but not necessarily as head coach. Vaughn will be, says one source, one of the highest paid assistant coaches in the NBA.
On Wednesday, according to reports, the deal was finalized. Nash called Steve Kerr and GM Joe Lacob to give them word that he was taking the Nets job. Marks in turn called Bob Myers, his Golden State counterpart.
“I had no idea until yesterday afternoon and he called me just out of courtesy since he technically worked for us,” Kerr said Thursday morning. “He didn’t need to ask permission, obviously, but he just respectfully called me.”
Kerr described the move as “an incredible hire.”